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So you talked me into it

It's been a bit since I've been here. Well, I've been smoking less pipes this past winter. But the weather has changed, and those lovely briars and cobs are again starting to see the light of day. Once again, porch sitting weather is at hand!

The other reason I've backed off the pipes is now the stems feel a bit weird in my teeth. The rubber bits help quite a bit. Definitely took it from uncomfortable to weird. But I'm determined to get over that this porch season.

In other news, I've really taken to St. Bruno (the ribbon cut). I think I've found the secret to dark fired Kentuck, mix it with stuff! Like whatever they've mixed it with. It gave me a warm familiar feeling like deja vu in a pleasant way. Like Carter Hall made with Kentucky instead of non fired burley. It packs a pleasant punch and I can see how it's someone's all day smoke. Like introducing a whiskey drinker to scotch.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I still haven't tried St Bruno yet, and it will be a while before I do. I already have ample pouched tobacco for this year. I will try it at some point though.

In comparison, Condor is dark Virginias. No Burley. They're still stoved or steamed, or had some other mystical alchemy, and the Olde English toppings many associate with Lakelands.

Good to hear you got chance to try a few of the readily accessible blends we have over here, and I look forward to reading your thoughts on them.
 
It's been a bit since I've been here. Well, I've been smoking less pipes this past winter. But the weather has changed, and those lovely briars and cobs are again starting to see the light of day. Once again, porch sitting weather is at hand!

The other reason I've backed off the pipes is now the stems feel a bit weird in my teeth. The rubber bits help quite a bit. Definitely took it from uncomfortable to weird. But I'm determined to get over that this porch season.

In other news, I've really taken to St. Bruno (the ribbon cut). I think I've found the secret to dark fired Kentuck, mix it with stuff! Like whatever they've mixed it with. It gave me a warm familiar feeling like deja vu in a pleasant way. Like Carter Hall made with Kentucky instead of non fired burley. It packs a pleasant punch and I can see how it's someone's all day smoke. Like introducing a whiskey drinker to scotch.
I'm at the opposite end of the tunnel, where a pipe stem without a bit feels weird. Now I won't smoke a pipe without one. Took a while to get used to them though. Like driving a car with a really soft suspension.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
It was the taste that was offputting for me. I believe there are silicone ones out there, which may be more neutral, but the rubber bites I tried were awful.
 
It was the taste that was offputting for me. I believe there are silicone ones out there, which may be more neutral, but the rubber bites I tried were awful.

COO is very important with these. Make sure they are US or European made. Those should be tasteless, odorless, and last a long time. I get about a decade out of the EA Carey ones. I'm still working off a bag of 50 from God-knows-when. Softy Bits is the other big US maker, and they have been around forever. I'm sure there must be a UK manufacturer of these.



There have been a mountain of Chinese-made bits circulating out there for quite some time, particularly on Ebay. They look identical to the good ones. I wouldn't put anything from China near my mouth, as who knows what chemicals may be in them. If a vendor won't give you a COO, assume they are Chinese. Perhaps you got stuck with some of those.

One of the other gentlemen here bought food-grade tubing from a big box store and uses that, cutting off bits as needed. They've got to be a bit harder than the soft rubber ones (no pun intended), but his are clear, which is nice on a designer stem. Different horses for different courses.
 
COO is very important with these. Make sure they are US or European made. Those should be tasteless, odorless, and last a long time. I get about a decade out of the EA Carey ones. I'm still working off a bag of 50 from God-knows-when. Softy Bits is the other big US maker, and they have been around forever. I'm sure there must be a UK manufacturer of these.


[Snip]

One of the other gentlemen here bought food-grade tubing from a big box store and uses that, cutting off bits as needed. They've got to be a bit harder than the soft rubber ones (no pun intended), but his are clear, which is nice on a designer stem. Different horses for different courses.
Now THAT'S a good idea!

So I ordered myself a bunch of Lakeland blends. My hope is to take them to work and again transition back to pipes. I hear Gawith makes theirs with a bit of vitamin N and a pleasant enough room note that the bosses upstairs with the open windows won't mind as much if a 5 minute smoke break turns into 10.

The next part so be finding a few sacrificial pipes to bring with me. As much as this sounds like a job for a cob, I'm not quite ready yet to bring a corn cob pipe to work. So that's going to be factory pipes. I'm on the fence between Grabows and basket briars. Something pocket friendly with a smaller bowl and I won't cry if it gets knocked about. Grabows seem made for that. But I've rescued some real gems from the basket.

I guess I have to go to the pipe store and see what they have.
 
So Mrs. Rookie declared yesterday as a day of hobbies. Seeing my chance, I hopped in my car and hit 2 of my top favorite B&M shops and picked up a pair of basket pipes for work. And while there, I snagged a couple tins. So now I have some good looking work pipes that can get knocked around in my pocket, with plans on grabbing a Dr. Grabow from the last drug store in my area that still sells them very soon. I used cobs in the past, but I got a little tired of the hillbilly jokes. And these, honestly, look a little nicer to customers walking in.

At the first shop, I picked up a tin of C&D Oriental Silk. That's been a favorite of mine for a little bit. I got it in bulk, but it was so dry it had to be rehydrated before smoking. I hope the tin will be better. The second shop stocks Sutliff aros and most of Mac Baron's tins. So I walked out with MB Symphony and Sutliff Blend #5. I hope to have my work blends in the big ol purchasing spree of April. Although if the past is any indication, my work tobaccos will be a codger or codger match. But either way, I'll still have good "windows open" smokes (tobaccos I can smoke on the front porch and Mrs. Rookie doesn't give me dirty looks as she shuts the windows) or basement workshop smokes.

And now, because everyone loves pictures, 16187562485424142137095316188944.jpg 16187562839482292586565566456654.jpg
 
So Mrs. Rookie declared yesterday as a day of hobbies. Seeing my chance, I hopped in my car and hit 2 of my top favorite B&M shops and picked up a pair of basket pipes for work. And while there, I snagged a couple tins. So now I have some good looking work pipes that can get knocked around in my pocket, with plans on grabbing a Dr. Grabow from the last drug store in my area that still sells them very soon. I used cobs in the past, but I got a little tired of the hillbilly jokes. And these, honestly, look a little nicer to customers walking in.

At the first shop, I picked up a tin of C&D Oriental Silk. That's been a favorite of mine for a little bit. I got it in bulk, but it was so dry it had to be rehydrated before smoking. I hope the tin will be better. The second shop stocks Sutliff aros and most of Mac Baron's tins. So I walked out with MB Symphony and Sutliff Blend #5. I hope to have my work blends in the big ol purchasing spree of April. Although if the past is any indication, my work tobaccos will be a codger or codger match. But either way, I'll still have good "windows open" smokes (tobaccos I can smoke on the front porch and Mrs. Rookie doesn't give me dirty looks as she shuts the windows) or basement workshop smokes.

And now, because everyone loves pictures, View attachment 1253270 View attachment 1253272
Outstanding!
 
So that was SWRA. Specifically, SWRA in a fresh MM Mark Twain in my front porch this evening after dinner watching the birds, neighborhood kids bike by, and neighborhood dogs airing their owners. Not too bad. I need to learn to smoke it slower, so it was a touch on the warmer side. But it was still good. Very good. I got vanilla and chocolate and a couple other unidentified flavors. A bit slower and I'll pull out more, more defined flavors I think.
 
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